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A call to advance research on women’s health issues

A call to advance research on women's health issues

An article in the San Francisco Chronicle today discusses the need to include more females in scientific research and mentions efforts being taken at Stanford to fix the problem. Erin Allday writes:

…[T]here have been tremendous advances in studying women’s health issues and including women in drug trials and clinical studies. Most of those changes  followed a 1993 mandate by the  National Institutes of Health that women be included in  such studies.

But when it comes to basic science – studying the molecular mechanics of  diseases in cells and tissues and in mice and rats – almost all of the work is on subjects with the male XY chromosome pairing.

Stanford, at least, is aiming to dig into that problem with the creation of a  new center focused on sex and gender in health. The Stanford Center for Health Research on Women and Sex Differences in Medicine officially opens Wednesday with a conference on sex, gender and the brain, at which [Louann Brizendine], now a UCSF psychiatrist who has written two books on the male and female brain, is speaking.

“For just about everything in medical science, we’re still very male-focused,” said Marcia Stefanick, an obstetrics and gynecology professor at Stanford who is co-director of the new center. “Our basic understanding is missing a key ingredient, and that is the sex difference.”

Previously: Exploring sex differences in the brain and Women underrepresented in heart studies

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